Changing diapers? Filling bottles with milk? The Israeli man is changing his approach towards baby care, embracing the duties of fatherhood. National Insurance Institute data indicate an increase in the number of men who go on paternity leave.
Six years ago, the introduction of a legislative amendments allowed Israeli men to take six weeks of paternity leave, to be deducted from 14 weeks owed to the mother.
In the first two years since the amendment was made, only a small increase in the number of men who took paternity leave was recorded, but the last three years show a constant upward trend.
In 2010, out of 103,000 births
in which the mother was entitled to take maternity leave (eligibility is given to those who worked for at least a year before birth), 354 men took paternity leave. In 2011, out of 106,100 births, the number of fathers climbed to 369. In 2012, 432 out of 112,000 eligible fathers chose to be with mother and child. Their average leave lasted six weeks, as the law permits.
Assaf Rotem, 35, from Tel Aviv, took one step further: with the birth of his daughter Alona, his firstborn, he took a period of 10 months paternity leave, at his own expense. He did so both to enable his partner to spend more time on her career, and out of ideological reasons.
"A birth of a child is the most important event we have in our lives, and is marked as an unforgettable experience", explains Rotem. "Although we live in a modern world, which is highly demanding in terms of work, I highly recommend men to join their wives during leave. It contributes to the equality of work burden, contributes to the family's wellbeing and greatly strengthens it. Countless intimate and happy moments are at stake here."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop